25 May 2011

process bits

When in the middle of a project, I sometimes find it difficult to distance myself from what I am making. Often it takes stepping away for a few moments and finding a new vantage point. I don't know what aspects of these bits and pieces will make the final cut, but then that's not the point.

10 Jan 2011

new collaboration

A collection of some of the meaningful objects, the raw materials for our piece.

A collection of some of the meaningful objects, the raw materials for our piece.

After years of working as the primary or sole designer at different cultural institutions, I am happy to be able to collaborate with many of the talented designers and artists I have met since moving to Los Angeles. Collaboration has become an important part of my practice, advancing my understanding of graphic design and the role I see for myself the field. In working—and learning to work—with others I stretch beyond where I feel most comfortable. In the process, I approach design problems with new questions or in new ways; observe, consider and act, rather than re-act; articulate my ideas—whether visual or verbal—with clarity, confidence and openness; and learn new things.

I’m delighted to share photo outtakes/process shots from the latest team effort for Collective Show LA. Lauren Mackler invited Juliette Bellocq, Katie Bachler and I to join her in a temporary design collective. Our collective is operating as an arm of Lauren’s museum, Public Fiction, and together we are creating a piece for the gallery and for distribution. Yesterday, we played with creating maps and mobiles out of meaningful objects. I’m looking forward to sharing the final results.

Lauren Mackler and Juliette Bellocq photograph our "map"

Lauren Mackler and Juliette Bellocq photograph our "map"

The map of a "group of groups"

The map of a "group of groups"

Juliette takes a break near our mobile, another kind of "group of groups"

Juliette takes a break near our mobile, another kind of "group of groups"

10 Nov 2010

sun print

Remnants of the studio's make-shift mailbox

Remnants of the studio's make-shift mailbox

I've been dabbling with an idea for a long time now, ever since moving to southern California. I want to make sun prints, but not the kind one makes with those blue and white kits. The obsession began with a commission from photographer Kimberlee Whaley for the first issue of Thirty Magazine. She asked four visual artists, including me, to take one photo a day, for thirty days, beginning on October 1, 2008.

I had recently moved to California, and realized that October was the time when summer was turning to fall in other parts of the country, cycling from growth to decay, but the sunshine in Los Angeles was ever-present. So, without those obvious shifts in the natural landscape to inspire me, I turned my camera to document the effects of that inescapable sunshine on my urban environment. I've made a Flickr set of my photos. Many of them show the sun-faded paint, signage and objects that became my inspiration for the idea of using the sun to "print" on found materials and printed ephemera. 

The problem is, I still have not moved forward on making any prints. I've spent years(!) at this point deliberating (otherwise know as procrastinating) on materials (wallpaper? my photographs? advertisements? pages from women's magazines?), subject matter, where best to leave the pieces out for "printing", etc. I keep stopping myself before I even begin, wanting to have a clear vision of how to execute this idea before I move forward.

Then I was rescued from myself and this deadly cycle of inaction, when I pulled our make-shift, temporary mailbox from outside the studio door. I had taped the "mailbox" (a manilla envelope with black tape letters and a Droog tape frame) to our door 2 months earlier so we could receive deliveries while we waited for an official mailbox in our new space. The official mailbox was delivered this week, and the time came for me to remove our make-shift one. The black tape type had begun to peel up at the edges, so I peeked underneath.

SUNPRINT! I'm excited to see the gradation in the type's color where the corners of tape had curled, and enjoy the marks the recent rain caused at the envelope's base. I can't wait to use the studio windows to make more.